Details of Extensive Changes to Employment Insurance and Canada Emergency Response Benefit Announced

In the latest evolution of the federal government’s response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, on August 19, 2020, amendments to the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act) were published and, on August 20, 2020, the government announced new measures to support affected Canadians who continue to be unable to work due to COVID-19.

Comprehensive Overview of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – July 2020 Update

On July 27, 2020, the federal government passed Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures (Bill C-20), which amends the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) first enacted in April 2020 with Bill C-14, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 (Bill C-14). Since April, there have been a number of changes to the CEWS. Bill C-20 implements the modified rules for the CEWS program that apply from June onward.

In this FTR Now we provide a comprehensive summary of the CEWS, including the new details of the CEWS extension to December 19, 2020, and we incorporate content from our previous firm communications dated March 30, 2020, April 2, 2020, April 9, 2020, April 13, 2020, and April 20, 2020.

OMERS Announces Significant Plan Amendments, Including Amendments to Support Members Affected by COVID-19

Participating employers in the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) should be aware of five amendments to the OMERS Primary Pension Plan (Primary Plan) approved by the OMERS Sponsors Corporation Board (SC Board) on June 24, 2020. The changes will be of interest to employers in the municipal and school board sectors with employees who participate in OMERS and include several amendments to address COVID-19-related issues. In addition, two non-COVID-19-related amendments were adopted, including a major change to eligibility for non-full-time employees.

Federal Government Introduces Changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

On June 10, 2020, the federal government introduced Bill C-17, An Act respecting additional COVID-19 measures (Bill C-17). Among other changes, if passed in its current form, Bill C-17 would amend the Income Tax Act to revise the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

Stephanie Kalinowski Quoted in Benefits Canada on Employers Using SUB Plans to Top Up During Pandemic

Benefits Canada quoted Hicks Morley’s Stephanie Kalinowski in a May 27, 2020 article titled “Employers Can’t Use SUB Plans to Top up Employees Laid off Due to Pandemic.” The article discusses how employers with registered supplemental unemployment benefit plans aren’t able to use them to top up laid-off employees who are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.